Delhi Journal of Ophthalmology

Seasonal Variation In Cataract Surgery: A Myth or Reality?

Shekhar Mankad, Bennet Chacko Mathew, Dhaivat Shah
Department of Ophthalmology, Choithram Netralaya, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India.

Editor-in-Chief, Delhi Journal of Ophthalmology, Dr R.P.Centre, AIIMS.

Corresponding Author:

Dhaivat Shah 
Department of Ophthalmology
Choithram Netralaya, Shriram Talawali, 
Dhar Road, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India

Received: 29-SEP-2020 Accepted: 09-OCT-2020 Published Online: 09-JUL-2021

Introduction: Mass cataract surgeries are organised throughout India all over the year to achieve the target set by Vision 2020 programme to eliminate blindness. The heavy workload during winters led to the observation that more cataract surgeries were performed during winter season. This causes problems with efficiency, quality and resource allocation. This study aims to analyse if seasonal variation exists and to determine the factors which can help in better planning for optimal utilisation of resources. 

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted on surgeries conducted during 2015- 2019, dividing into summer, rainy and winter seasons. 100 patients each, from the winter season and summer season respectively, were asked to fill in a questionnaire to analyse the reason for selection of the particular season for cataract surgery.

Results: Of the 64,205 cataract surgeries performed during the study  period, 61.44% of surgeries were done in the winter season. While community based surgeries were mostly done in winter (63.51%), the trend among paid patients showed a shift towards equal distribution throughout the seasons. 41% of patients attending in the winter season believed that the surgery was safer during winter while 49% patients attending in the summer season underwent surgery because of diminished vision.

Conclusions: Seasonal variation is a reality in cataract surgeries in India. Various contributing factors to seasonal variation involve hearsay beliefs of patients, cost of surgery and cultural beliefs. If these can be addressed then resource allocation and utilization can be improved.

Keywords :Seasonal Variation; Cataract; Camps